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Younes Mohammad
Younes Mohammad
Younes Mohammad

Younes Mohammad

Country: Iraq
Birth: 1968

Younes Mohammad is Born in 1968 in Dohuk, Iraq. He's a Kurdish freelance photographer mostly active on assignments for newspapers, magazines, etc. He spent his life in Iran as a refugee from 1974 - 1998 and graduated with an MBA University of Tehran. Photography was his passion but he had no chance to follow it while the war situation was still continuing Under Saddam's time.

In 2011 he quits his job and starts his journey as a photographer. His work has been exhibited internationally and published widely in publications. He has received numerous awards. He is now based in Erbil, Iraq.

About Open Wounds
"I start to work on a long-term project documenting the sacrifices of Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight to put down ISIS.

Speaking with hundred Peshmerga, taking intimate portraits of the wounded fighters, their families, and documenting both the stories in the battle and their ongoing struggles to navigate post-conflict life. Through the work, I found stories of immense suffering. Fighters who took up arms, not because they were required to do so, but because it was right and it was what had to be done. These men, often fighting side by side with brothers, uncles, cousins, fathers, and sons, knew that the freedom and survival of their people were at stake.

As they retold stories of watching family and friends killed in front of them and of battles they did not expect to survive, they simultaneously shed tears for the losses and for the pride they had in what their comrades and they had done.

Almost all of the men showed severe physical injury. Arms, legs, and eyes lost. Bodies so riddled with bullet and shrapnel wounds that simple movement created wincing pain. These men also showed the signs of the heavy burdens of the mental traumas, of PTSD, and of memories that would not leave them. Despite all they suffered, they often said they would go back to the fight again if ever called. They would do this for their children, their families, their people, and for the wider world.

Tragically, their suffering does not end having returned home. The men face new challenges, such as getting prosthetic limbs, ongoing care, providing for their families despite their debilitating injuries, and more. They wonder, if they would give everything to help protect the world, will the world help them or forget them now that they have put down their guns.

I have hope that, through this work exploring conflict and post-conflict humanitarian issues, the World may better understand what these men and their families have given for the Kurdish people, the region, and, in fact, the world. "
-- Younes Mohammad
 

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Khalik Allah (born 1985) is an American filmmaker and photographer. His 2015 documentary film Field Niggas and his 2017 book Souls Against the Concrete depict people who inhabit the notorious Harlem corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City. His film Black Mother (2018) depicts people on the island of Jamaica. "He favours visual portraits of people on the street – filming their faces for several seconds as they pose as if for a still camera." In June 2020 he became a Nominee member of Magnum Photos. Khalik was born in Brookhaven, New York. His mother is Jamaican and his father is Iranian. He grew up in Suffolk, Long Island, New York, but moved between Queens and Harlem throughout his childhood. His parents met at university in Bristol, England. He is a dual Jamaican-American citizen. He started making movies at age 19 with a Hi-8 video camera. His first feature film, Popa Wu: A 5% Story (2010), was a "normal, talking heads documentary" about Popa Wu, "Wu-Tang Clan's de facto spiritual advisor" and a member of Five-Percent Nation. It took four years to make. Khalik took up still photography in 2010.Source: Wikipedia Despite challenges early in life, Allah managed to maintain discipline and focus on self-improvement. He credits these qualities, in part, to the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation, a movement whose name comes from its concept that only five percent of the world knows the truth about existence and is dedicated to enlightening the rest of the world. Founded in Harlem in the 1960s the movement emphasizes intellectual growth and enlightenment for black men in particular. Inspired and empowered by their message Allah seriously pursued the study of metaphysics, black history, and literature. Likewise, with no formal art training, he pursued video work first at the age of 14, and then photography, making his first pictures in 2010. He taught himself how to use a camera from videos on YouTube and later devoured books at the library on work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Bruce Davidson. Khalik Allah finished his first film at the age of 19 and after getting it into the hands of the rapper Killah Priest, Allah went on to direct music videos for different members of the Wu-Tang family. His filmmaking changed radically after he became a photographer. His camera work slowed down and he made prolonged eye contact with the individuals he filmed. His 2015 film, Field Niggas (inspired by Malcolm X's 1963 speech, "Message to the Grassroots”) received high acclaim and numerous awards including the 2015 Le Prix Scribe, Paris. He also served as one of the cinematographers for Beyoncé's Lemonade. His most recent film, Black Mother, will premiere at the True/False Film Festival in March and will have its New York premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival April 4th at MoMA and April 7th at Lincoln Center. It is easy to walk through a city not making eye contact, but for Khalik Allah this contact is essential. He sees each individual he photographs. And his photographs in turn allow us to see them, to acknowledge who we might ignore, to look through Allah’s eye and into theirs, and to recognize them as individuals. This is the power of Allah’s work: to give us a deeper sense of people as people, to share and enlighten, even when the message may not be clean or easy. Made at night on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, the images in his recent book Souls Against the Concrete (University of Texas Press, 2017), provide a glimpse into a world and people that many choose to ignore. His subjects are often drug addicts, homeless, or both. Using only the available light from shop windows, street lights, or subway platforms, he photographs them with a slow color film, a combination that produces images full of grain and texture, a visual shorthand for the roughness and intensity of life on the street, and his own struggles early in life. The light is also often harsh or even surreal, resulting in figures awash in blues and reds. Luc Sante, in The New York Times Book Review, wrote, "The result is a panorama of human emotion: sadness, passion, bewilderment, pride, suspicion, amusement, exhaustion — all the faces of the night."Source: Gitterman Gallery Allah has led a life of many perspectives; he recounts, as a 20-year-old, walking all night to take portraits before working in a nursing home in Harlem during the day. His work and life is immersed in the teachings and sensibilities of The Five-Percent Nation, a cultural movement influenced by the Islamic faith and founded in Harlem in 1964. When he was nominated by Magnum, Allah told the agency: “The first thing black students are taught is that they were slaves. From second-grade on, your self-esteem is a couple of notches below the white students because you’ve been told you are inferior. That sticks with you and follows you into your adulthood. The Five-Percent Nation taught me not to take anything on face value,” Allah says. “That teaching has bled into my work. This is a spiritual film. And it’s a holographic film; a piece contains the whole and a whole contains the piece. And it’s an experiential film, one that brings you into an environment that most people would avoid.” The New York streets Allah shoots are indivisible with the history of street photography. Allah is working in the legacy of New York icons like Diane Arbus, Weegee, Garry Winogrand and Nan Goldin as well as fellow Magnum photographers Bruce Gilden and Bruce Davidson. But, perhaps unlike some of his current colleagues of the Magnum collective, Allah is deeply concerned with the question of photographic consent. In that sense, Allah perhaps embodies the attitude of a new generation of street photographers; ones who see the camera as a way of being alert and alive to social and racial injustice. “It’s important to speak to whoever you’re working with,” Allah says. “To share your intentions with your subjects. To properly introduce yourself, and to get permission and consent. As photographers, we’re responsible for the work we make, and we need to be conscious of that. That involves not shooting somebody that doesn’t want to be shot. That’s a basic thing. And don’t shoot children without a parent’s consent. That is very important to me.”Source: The Art Newspaper
Michelle Frankfurter
United States
1961
Born in Jerusalem, Israel Michelle Frankfurter is a documentary photographer, currently living in Takoma Park, Maryland. A graduate from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Michelle has been recognized, published and exhibited worldwide. Before settling in the Washington, DC area, Frankfurter spent three years living in Nicaragua, where she worked as a stringer for the British news agency, Reuters and with the human rights organization Witness For Peace documenting the effects of the contra war on civilians. In 1995, a long-term project on Haiti earned her two World Press Photo awards. Since 2000, Frankfurter has concentrated on the border region between the United States and Mexico and on themes of migration. She is a 2013 winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation grant, a 2011 Top 50 Critical Mass winner, a finalist for the 2011 Aftermath Project and the 2012 Foto Evidence Book Award for her project Destino, documenting the journey of Central American migrants across Mexico. Her first book, Destino was published in September 2014 by Foto Evidence. About Destino Meaning both "destination" and "destiny" in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding work in the United States. It is the odyssey of a generation of exiles across a landscape that is becoming increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as an option of last resorts. Unlike Mexican migration to the United States that dates back to the 1880's, the unprecedented wave of Central American migration began a full century later, the consequence of bloody civil wars, U.S. Cold War-era intervention in the region and crippling international trade policies. Those regional conflicts left a legacy of drug and gang related violence, a high incidence of domestic abuse, and unrelenting poverty. Migration as an issue is current; the story of migration is timeless. Having grown up on the adventure tales of Jack London and Mark Twain, and then later on Cormac McCarthy's border stories, there is no storyline more compelling to me than one involving a youthful odyssey across a hostile wilderness. With a singularity of purpose and a kind of brazen resilience, migrants traverse deadly terrain, relying mostly on their wits and the occasional kindness of strangers. In documenting a journey both concrete and figurative, I convey the experience of individuals who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances, much like the anti-hero protagonists of the adventure tales I grew up reading. About The Island I made five trips to Haiti between 1993 and 1995. During that time, a de facto government held the island nation captive, while an international trade embargo intended to oust the regime made life miserable for Haiti's poor. An American-led military intervention restored exiled president, Jean Bertrand Aristide to power. This series depicts the recycled repression, regional isolation, imprisonment, and liberation throughout Haiti's turbulent history.
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AAP Magazine #27: Colors
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes